Posts in Parenting &Education
May Madness and External Accountability

Forget March Madness, we’re onto May Madness

It seems every parent I bump into or read their social media post has their heads, calendars, and lives full!  In the classroom, spring has sprung, kids have grown, testing is likely underway, and there is so much to do both to wrap up this year and begin setting up a solid start to the new year.  On top of all that, there are spring sports and dance recitals, end of the year showcases, concert, first communions, graduations. 

In Annapolis, we see all sorts of new-is young adults around town in civilian clothes. These are the soon-to-be USNA graduates and Navy Ensigns, who are evicted from the dorm and have a wee bit of time and freedom to act like regular old 22-year-olds until Commissioning Week begins on May 19th.  The underclass men and women breath a little sigh of relief but soon move off to summer blocks at sea, in trainings, or possibly even getting to go home and be a civlian for a short period of time. Commissioning Week is the blessed and unoffial start of summer here.

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Planning or Present - Need at Time Out?

As March melts into April, we all want it to be spring. Mother Nature is tempting us with sunshine and longer days, but then there’s that wind, rain and chilly morning temps. With Easter and spring break coming, April will come and go in a blink and May will be knocking on the door. April was also the month I secretly prayed at night for rain so that after-school sports and games might get rained out and we’d get a bonus hour or two out of it because I knew May would be a doosey

When my kids were adolescents and I was teaching full time, I remember feeling that May was a bit conspiratorial. It gave us a glimpse of summer ease, but there is always so much packed into the last weeks of school. Concerts, plays, field trips, outdoor sports, the desire to play outside BEFORE and AFTER dinner. Toss in things like First Communions, graduations, all that spring yard work, and it is just relentless. To end the month, the US Naval Academy’s Commissioning Week means an influx of thousands of proud family and friends and lets us Annapolitans usher in summer with the Blue Angels’ flight demonstrations.

Let’s stick with April, shall we?

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Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Present

The Bee Gees.

Weren’t they just dreamy?  Those of us nearly too young to really know the Beatles, hung on the love songs by Barry, Robin and Maurice.  Those outrageous leisure suits and stacked heels (nothing my CPA dad nor friends would ever sport) were fetching!   I remember hearing these lyrics and thinking that my mother really didn’t go anywhere when we were gone to school.

How funny is that?   

Can you imagine your kids thinking you’re just sitting around at home while they are off at school?  As in, on the couch eating bon-bons and watching Netflix?  (Hey - and if you ARE doing that - no judgment, just more power to ya, sister!)

Parenthood by default means juggling work, kids, and that sliver of a personal life. We all question what we are doing and we all see the joy and love and the frustration and struggle. Maybe you're going this parenting route alone or you're often alone. I know what it’s like. When my kids were adolescents, there were months my husband was gone 10, 12, sometimes even 20 days a month. It. Was. Insane.

I was a little insane.  

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You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling

Love. Perhaps you’ve heard  lots about it this month? From heart health to Valentine’s day to marketing anything fuchsia and crimson. I’m not an expert on love, except that each day I wake up determined to love something and someone.

There’s so much to love in the world. But in the noise of the day and the week, it’s easy to let that loving feeling take a back seat: cue Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards in Top Gun.

Waking up ready to love has not always come readily for me - quite frankly, there were days and weeks it may not have come at all. We all have those dark and twisty days where the only loving feeling we want involves our pillow, Netflix, a good book, a long hike or a complimentary spa day. John Rauch  describes how something happens as you approach middle age – a curious  “U curve” that reflects how many of us find an uptick in overall happiness in our 50s. Maybe  I am on the upswing after what honestly, was a pretty tumultuous late 30s/early 40s decade. Maybe I metaphorically bitchslapped myself right off the busy train and I realized that planning and counting on everything to be just-so was a recipe for frustration. Viewing the world through a difference lens lets me see the love instead of gripping and ruminating.

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